Nutrition, Your Body, and Performance
Fox News has been reporting on nutrition and how it ultimately affects the body and all aspects of our lives. They are doing this based on the research and experience of doctors, nutritionists, and other practitioners. According to recent surveys, most adults, young and older, still believe that being sick is inevitable, a part of life. The large majority associate a decline in health as a natural part of getting older. Nothing could be farther from the truth. With proper care the human body can last and maintain optimal function as long as there is life.
Comparing the human body to an automobile makes a good analogy. Car owners tend to use only the best fuel and maintenance for the car that they depend on to take them where they need to go. This comparison makes most people stop and think. Food is fuel for the body to function. Fresh, wholesome nutrition assures that the body will be able to heal and repair itself. The well-nourished body functions at ultimate capacity and leaves the individual feeling well and happy with energy to burn. Other life choices affect how well we feel as we age such as, adequate sleep, exercise, meditation, and relaxation.
Today, more and more people are living past 80, 90, and even a 100. The fastest growing segment of the population today is the people over 85. According to scientists, everyone should be able to live past 110 to 120 active, vibrant, and healthy. Perusing the obituaries of any newspaper shows that the general population is nowhere near that goal. Men and women are dying in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. It is still a rarity, not the norm, to meet and talk with a centenarian. Quality of life begins to decline in the 60’s as a rule. Scientific research has proven that life does not have to consist of a gradual decline into illness.
Emotions impact health in more ways than one, and the effects last longer than the emotional upheaval. Negative emotions like anger, grief, and anxiety generate hormones that break down the body’s ability to heal and function properly. What is the most positive emotion that can and does reverse the negative effects of these emotions? Forgiveness. It is one of the most positive emotions the human can generate. Letting go of anger, anxiety, hate and overcoming grief brings about a positive change throughout the body.
It is imperative that adults do not continue to live in the past. Maybe the adult felt unloved as a child. There are many many individuals who suffer heartbreak for one reason or another. Professors and other individuals in mentoring positions may often be careless in their remarks making one feel inadequate or hopeless. Spouses may not share the same dreams and may not truly be supportive. Forgiveness releases the negative influences and strength comes from within. In all fairness, those who cause pain are speaking from where they are. They have not walked in the shoes of those they may have hurt. They deserve forgiveness and understanding for their thoughtless actions. Each and every individual has to decide for themselves what they can and will do to make a change in their lives to create a better future.
It has been repeated so many times that many people actually blame their health issues on it, heredity. One’s health cannot be blamed on genes a tendency called Epigenetics. Most fat people claim to be fat because,” it runs in my family.” Just because the genes may predispose an individual to cancer, obesity, heart disease, stroke or some other malady does not mean that the gene has to be allowed to manifest itself. The fact that the females in a family have been victims of breast cancer does not mean that ALL the descendants are doomed to have to deal with breast cancer. The parents, grandparents or great grandparents had a different environment. They may not have exercised regularly. The diet a few generations ago was different than it is today. In some cases, it probably was fresher. But it certainly was limited to the area and the seasons.
Other things that need to be considered are poisons. Everyone knows about alcohol and tobacco. Smoking and drinking have shortened the life span of many men and women over several generations. What a person may inherit can often be avoided by testing and taking positive steps to eliminate the risk factors. Modern medical science has developed to the point that that gene does not have to be given a chance to plague the family members any longer. Statistics show that less than 12of an individual’s health can be based on genetic predisposition. With all the knowledge and discipline that exists today, it is still very difficult to get 100 of the daily required nutrition from food alone. It is necessary to add what is missing with supplements.
Due to the fact that the United States has been farming the same soil for at least 200 years, there are essential minerals that aren’t there any longer in sufficient quantities to support a body’s needs. A multimineral supplement needs to be taken daily. It is popular and rightly so to add a protein drink as a supplement or as a meal replacement to guarantee adequate protein for building and repairing the body.
There are nutraceuticals that help many bodily functions. Everyone can benefit from a Probiotic capsule to help digestion and to supply the colon with good bacteria to replace the bad bacteria that can build up and poison the system.
Hormone Replacement Therapy became a popular topic of seminars and medical conferences as stopping or even reversing aging began to be a reality. No adult should ignore balancing the hormones. It is a very delicate process, and a competent Endocrinologist needs to be consulted and made a permanent part of any medical team. Hormones are the messengers of the body and are responsible for the proper functioning of the metabolism, the mood changes, sleep cycles, cognitive function, the libido, weight gain or loss, and a host of other physical and emotional needs.
Once a rare bird, vegetarians are more and more common in modern society. Vegetarian restaurants are opening up quickly. Cookbooks are being sold at an ever increasing rate for vegetarian dishes. Is it a true anti-aging diet? The question that needs to asked and answered before an individual embarks on a strict vegetarian lifestyle is, “Do they have the education and discipline to give themselves permission to eat only the best wholesome food?”
The roller coaster rides of emotions that are prevalent in modern western society cannot be ignored. The resulting consequences are that even though a normal healthy adult may eat right, exercise, and be enjoying great health for a long time. An accident or a sudden unexpected tragedy can suddenly turn life upside down. So. . . the normal healthy adult begins to “cheat” by taking the pizza, consuming chocolate as if it were ambrosia, and taking more than a little wine. The “cheating” totally sabotages health, and the individual feels worse. The tragedy that can come to pass is that this reckless pattern of behavior continues. Pulling it back will bring the body back into balance. Doctors and patients need to pay particular attention to emotional eating habits.
Stress alone is the number one killer in the United States and other western countries. Daily life can put enough stress on the body that the blood pressure rises, the heart rate increases, and the adrenals pump out more and more adrenalin. One reaction to stress is sleep deprivation and uncontrollable cravings. Stress management must be a part of any wellness program. The human body is amazingly adaptable. Whenever anyone is eating right, exercising regularly, taking supplements, and staying positive, the body responds with an almost euphoric feeling of well-being. Deviating from the program and accepting the occasional treat, skipping out on a workout, or forgetting the supplements for a few days need not be disastrous. This temporary lack of judgement is no excuse for self-loathing. One can enjoy the occasional sinful treat and get back on track. Adults have to realize that they have choices. The more good choices, the
better chances one has of living well into the hundreds enjoying life to the fullest.
The newest book by Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, “The Power of Self-healing” emphasizes the nervous system and its importance to good health. The nervous system directly impacts all the organs. The regular primary care physician has a heavy load. The health team needs a chiropractor, a naturopath, and an anti-aging expert. The body heals from the inside out; not from the outside in. Most health care plans don’t allow for prevention. They don’t factor in the importance of a wellness plan. It is time for everyone to take charge of their health. When there is a problem, it is better to get to the root of the problem and not just attack the symptoms.
Part of every day should be devoted to “me time”. Working professionals and stay at home parents could all benefit by doing something for themselves every day. Read for pleasure, meditate, exercise in some form. It is important to the rest of the body to take some time off for oneself. Feeling lonely is another negative pervasive sentiment in today’s fast-paced society. There is a spiritual connection that unites everyone, which means no one should feel alone in the World. Everyone must try to use alone time as “me” time and make being alone a positive experience.